Ancient Hittite mine factory surprises archaeologists
ÇORUM – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotosExcavations at the Central Anatolian province of Çorum’s Alacahöyük site, one of the significant centers of the ancient Hittite civilization and Turkey’s first national excavation field, have unearthed various artifacts in a 3,700 year-old mine factory.
Professor Aykut Çınaroğlu, the head of the excavations that are carried out by Ankara University, said work had been continuing since 2009 and this year they discovered two copper bullions, proving the existence of the mine factory.
Çınaroğlu said the bullions were used for the production of various artifacts, adding that the remains dated back to 3,700 years ago.
“At this factory, we work in new rooms and new sections every year. This year we have been working for some 20 days and found the walls of the factory. Although this place is a third-degree earthquake area, we were surprised at the smoothness and durableness of these walls. We will keep them as they are without doing any restoration,” he said, adding that excavations at the site are ongoing.
The bullions are under protection and will be sent to the General Directorate of Mineral Research and exploration (MTA) to find out the origin of the copper bullions, according to Çınaroğlu.
He said the sheer size of the factory indicated that it did not only serve Çatalhöyük.
“Because it is so big, we can understand that it also served other neighboring places. The granaries around the factory show that it has a capacity for 4,000 people,” he added.
A water channel has also been discovered during the new excavations around the factory.
“We found it this year in the factory. This surprised me because it shows that they attached importance to hygiene,” Çınaroğlu said, adding that his team believed the factory would continue to reveal new artifacts that would surprise the archaeology world.